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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 22 | Poaceae | Stipa

11. Stipa caucasica Schmalhausen, Ber. Deutsch. Bot. Ges. 10: 293. 1892.

镰芒针茅 lian mang zhen mao

Densely tufted perennial, roots thick, tomentose, clothed in sand grains; old basal sheaths forming large clumps. Culms 15–30 cm tall, 2–3-noded, lower internodes pubescent. Basal leaves 2/3 length of culms; leaf sheaths shorter than internodes; leaf blades acicular, convolute, outer surface smooth or scabrid, ligule of basal leaves truncate, ca. 0.5 mm, of culm leaves rounded, 1–1.5 mm, ciliate. Panicle narrow, 5–10 cm, branches enclosed in inflated uppermost leaf sheath. Spikelets pale green-brown sometimes faintly purple-tinged; glumes equal or lower glume slightly longer, narrowly lanceolate, 1.5–4 cm, apex long attenuate-filiform; callus pungent, 1–2 mm; lemma 7–10 mm, pilose in longitudinal lines, a ring of soft hairs at apex; awn deciduous, 5–12 cm, hairy throughout, 1-geniculate, column 1.5–2.3 cm, hairs 1–2 mm, bristle 5–8 cm, falcately curved, plumose, hairs 3–5 mm. Fl. and fr. Apr–Jun.

Stony mountain slopes, sand dunes, gravel plains; 1400–5100 m. Gansu, Hebei, Henan, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Xinjiang, Xizang [Afghanistan, Kashmir, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Russia (Siberia), Tajikistan, Turkmenistan; SW Asia (Caucasus, N Iran)].

This is a widespread and highly polymorphic species. Variation in China is best accommodated within the following two subspecies. Stipa caucasica subsp. glareosa has a rather more easterly distribution, but smaller, scabrid-leaved forms occur sporadically throughout the range of the species in part related to increased altitude. The species is close to S. orientalis, the most obvious difference being the 1-geniculate awn. Hybrids between S. caucasica and S. orientalis have been reported.

1 Leaf blades usually smooth on outer surface; glumes 3.5–4 cm; awn 7–12 cm   11a subsp. caucasica
+ Leaf blades usually scabrid on outer surface; glumes 1.5–3.5 cm; awn 4.5–7 cm   11b subsp. glareosa


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